A decision has been made to extend the school closures passed the initial time frame of the end of March.
The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh announced today that school will remain closed indefinitely, meaning that the earliest they will re-open now is the 20th of April, according to The Independent.
According to The Independent, while schools are to remain closed, going ahead with the Junior and Leaving Cert state exams are the Department of Education's top priority right now. However, the Minister said that this would be decided based on the advice provided by public health officials.
Speaking to Galway Bay FM today, the Minister said:
“I think we owe it to those young people who are studying and putting in the effort to see this through to try to have these exams this year. When I say this year, I mean the dates that are defined for this year. That’s what we are working towards.”
“Obviously we are going to be influenced and directed by the health experts. We don’t know where we are going to be in terms of the peak of this virus."
It is difficult to know whether or not the state exams will go ahead, as according to experts, we have not reached the peak of the virus in Ireland yet. However, the Minister did also mention that if it is too problematic for all state exams to go ahead this year, priority will be given to the Leaving Cert.
As the primary school year extends until the end of June, there is more time for the school year to resume within this time frame, however, there is nothing concrete on this as of yet.
According to RTE, non-essential business are also set to close.